Monday, 29 October 2007

Greece about to deport gay man back to Iran

Just received this from a gay rights group in Greece.

TO: The European Parliament, European Political Parties, Humanitarian Organizations, International Press


Dear Sir/Madam,

We are writing to draw your attention to the case of a 40-year-old gay Iranian man, identified here as Alex, who is about to be expelled from Greece and deported back to Iran. As is well known and documented, gay people in Iran are subjected to persecution and severe punishment, including execution. If Alex returns to Iran, Greece will be committing a serious miscarriage of justice and a gross violation of human rights.

Alex (his real name and identity are known to our organization) used to live a fully respected life in Iran. He is a member of a rich Iranian family and used to have a respectful job in Iran. In 1999 he was visited at his workplace by an ex-schoolmate who knew Alex was gay and who was probably a member of the government party. After that visit, Alex was arrested by the religion police and kept in the Jankal jail at the Iranian town of Rast for 45 days.

Alex was tortured at Jankal. He was beaten systematically with lashing straps in his back and kidneys and afterwards was put in water in order to not develop ecchymosis and edema. He was beaten several times in the face, losing three teeth as a result. He had his testicles twisted, was submitted to bastinado and had salt poured on his open wounds. He was put twice in mock execution.

After spending forty-five days in jail, his family paid to get him out so that he could attend the funeral of his mother. The police took him to the funeral in women’s clothes. While out of jail, Alex managed to escape. A few days later, he arrived to Greece by way of Turkey in a terrible condition.

He went to the General Administration office of the police and applied for political asylum based on the torture he had been submitted to in Iran. The application was rejected. In 2003, Alex submitted a second application for political asylum stating that he was homosexual and had a relationship with a Greek man, Phoebos (his real name and identity are known to our organization), who also testified that he was Alex’s partner. (Alex and Phoebos are still together today). However, this application was also rejected. (Alex’s file in the Ministry of Public Order is YDT 95/43303; his file in the Asylum Department of the Home Office is 12206/38647).

Now Alex’s case is to be discussed in front of the Supreme Council, which is scheduled to decide for a definitive resolution regarding his status as a refugee on March 11, 2008.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Alex’s deportation to Iran will constitute a violation of the articles 3 and 15 of the International Convention of the Human Rights, co-signed and validated by Greece.

We need your strong support in order to prevent the Greek state from violating the international law and the human rights of a person whose life is in danger because of his sexuality.

We would be more than happy to provide further information on the case.

Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to your response and immediate action.

Yours sincerely,

The Members of the Greek Homosexual Community (G.H.C.-ΕΟΚ)

Contact: General Secretary of GHC-EOK Marina Galanou

Greek Homosexual Community, EOK
(Member of: ILGA, ILGYO, All Different-all Equal)
Antoniadou 6 str., Athens, Attica, PC 10434, Greece

Tel. (0030)210.8826600 Fax. (0030)210.8826898
Mobile: (0030)6949295041 &

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